Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics, Applied

First Advisor

Walter Buchwald

Second Advisor

Maxim Olshanii

Third Advisor

Stephen Arnason


Waveguides, in general are used as a means to route photons. Traditional dielectric waveguides, composed of a high index core surrounded by a low index cladding, produce maximum field intensities far from dielectric interfaces. This thesis presents the design of a plasmonic enhanced waveguide, which relocates the maximum optical field intensity from the center of the waveguide to an interfacial region defined by a dielectric and a negative index material. This is accomplished through the use of a metal film, positioned on top of a traditional ridge waveguide in those places where one wishes to excite a plasmon mode as opposed to the more traditional dielectric mode. Plasmon modes have their highest field intensity at the interface located between the metal and the dielectric. In this thesis, the waveguide dimensions of a hybrid dielectric waveguide are determined with the intent of producing single mode operation for a ridge waveguide with and without metal on top. A commercial Eigen mode solver (MODE Lumerical) is used to obtain all field profiles, waveguide effective index and waveguide loss. Multiple simulations were used to design a waveguide, which supports a single plasmonic mode when the metal film is in place and a single dielectric mode when the metal film is absent. Such a waveguide is expected to find use in the field of integrated quantum optics where quantum dots, defined by near surface confining potentials, require high interfacial fields for maximum dot/field interactions. Further, based on the final waveguide design height of ( 5µm ) and width of ( 7.9µm ), an effective index of ( 3.687 ) results when operated in the plasmon mode and (3.619) when operated in dielectric mode. This change in refractive index suggests such hybrid dielectric/plasmon waveguides can be used for the design of Bragg reflectors leading to plasmonic cavities, which, when coupled to the proposed near surface located quantum dots, can be used for the production and detection of single photons, required by many diverse engineered quantum systems, such as quantum communication, quantum metrology and quantum computation.